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Unlimited Exhaust Emissions, Australia a Paradise for High-Pollution Cars, Costing US$5.9 Billion More in Gas

published: 2022-08-24 9:30

The increasingly stringent environmental protection regulations for automobiles and motorcycles not only help to improve traffic emissions, but also save on the amount of imported oil. However, Australia has become one of the few countries in the world with "no limit on exhaust emissions" which also allows car manufacturers to sell products with peace of mind. Dirty cars that comply with the latest environmental regulations make a lot of "black money" here.

Since 2008, some scholars and experts have been calling on the Australian government to formulate relevant standards for vehicle exhaust to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution emissions, but today, Australia can be said to be the only major nation in the world without exhaust regulations.

Let’s not talk about the complicated political factors behind this decision, but according to the statistics of a local Australian think tank, the vehicles that are not subject to emission restrictions alone will cause an additional expenditure of more than US$2.2 billion a year in-country. Without accounting for health and environmental impact, just fueling up has cost Australians an extra US$5.9 billion over the past six years.

This is because according to the vehicle exhaust standards of various countries, it is the most basic requirement to gradually improve fuel consumption and reduce the amount of harmful gases emitted. Taking Taiwan as an example, the carbon emission of the transportation sector accounts for 12.89% of the total, which is already regarded as the mid-to-late level of global performance. But in Australia, in 2020, the transport sector accounted for 18% of the overall emissions, even higher than the manufacturing sector.

For car manufacturers, simpler engines, worse fuel consumption, and fewer emission reduction equals lower costs and higher profits. On the one hand, car manufacturers cater to the high standards of other countries, producing newer and more fuel-efficient products, and even more expensive EVs to keep selling. However, the high-emission vehicles that will be phased out will be transferred to Australia for sale through other means.

Do Australians prefer exhaust gas and noise pollution? This is not the case. Tesla started to deliver Model Y in Australia last week, at more than 15,000 units. It can be seen that the demand is also very strong, but other than Tesla, other car manufacturers can hardly find reason for to sell a fuel-efficient pure electric or gas-electric vehicle in Australia because the country is an exhaust paradise.

The difference can be seen from interesting data. Taking a new car sold in 2018 as an example, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the vehicle per kilometer is 114.6 grams in Japan, 120.4 grams in Europe, and 169.8 grams in Australia, which is 40% higher than that in Europe..

This has also kept Australia's oil demand high, with 91% of imports, and even more astonishingly, 73% of the oil used by Australians every year is used as fuel for transportation, and as much as 54% for road transport. For reference, more than half of Taiwan's oil use is used by the industrial sector, and only 16% is used in transportation.

Research indicates that if the Australian government introduced environmental protection regulations in 2016, at least 4 billion liters of oil could be saved for the country and 9 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced. If high oil prices are included, analysts estimate that this policy of unlimited emissions has cost Australians an extra US$5.9 billion, all of which is spent on fuel.

Interestingly, the Australian government announced last month that they will ban the sale of fuel vehicles in the Capital Territory in 2035. By then, it may form a zero emission window in a dark cloud, and the carbon reduction effect is worrying.


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